The four rose beds in the historic Public Garden are cared for by the Rose Brigade. These are volunteer rosarians working in collaboration with the Boston Department of Parks and Recreation. The Brigade is made up of men and women of all ages. Newcomers are happily welcomed, as are occasional or one-day helpers. Gloves, tools, and instructions are supplied. 

During the high season, June through September, the Brigade gathers every Tuesday from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. We consider this time as a window – come and leave as your schedule permits. Our colorful flag helps everyone find the bed where we are working. As the days grow shorter in October we meet earlier. Ad hoc projects occur in April, May, and December. 

We always begin with the twin rose beds, “Mr. Hale” and “Mr. Lincoln,” near Edward Everett Hale’s statue (the one with the hat) near the center Charles Street entrance. Then to the two larger beds, first going to “Tiffany” in the quadrant bounded by Arlington and Boylston Streets and concluding at “Peace,” also known as the “Ether” Bed, in the Arlington/Beacon Street quadrant. 

In the words of China Altman, one of the original founders of the brigade, “Try it and see if it makes you happy. No guilt, no meetings, and one party once a year. I’ve always found it a particular privilege to take care of the roses here. We garden in the middle of a great city, rewarded by talking with passersby and greeted constantly by beautiful roses as they bloom throughout the summer in their own way, unique in the world.”


Contact Perry Skaggs at